Why Sunnyvale’s Sleek New Millennium Hotel Is Being Built in Poland

Why Sunnyvale’s Sleek New Millennium Hotel Is Being Built in Poland

Silicon Valley Business Journal

Exclusive First Look: Why Sunnyvale’s Sleek New Millennium Hotel Is Being Built in Poland
By Nathan Donato-Weinstein



Sometime in the next two years or so, craftsmen in Poland will put the finishing touches on 263 individual hotel rooms, then stack them on a single container ship bound for the Port of Oakland. From there, they’ll be trucked to a vacant lot in Sunnyvale, where they will be unloaded one by one and assembled on-site into Northern California’s first Millennium Hotel. It will go up in about 12 weeks.

A similar prefab strategy will result in a 250-unit residential complex next door, but instead of a sea voyage, the apartments will take a six-day train trip from a factory in Idaho.

“We are not only challenging ourselves to build a new, different kind of hotel,” said Aloysius Lee, group chief executive officer for Millennium Hotels and Resorts, the London-based company behind the project. “We are also challenging ourselves in using new technology, a new methodology of building.”

The estimated $200 million development represents what could be the most ambitious modular construction effort yet undertaken in Silicon Valley. While prefabricated units have been used in a couple of apartment projects, the approach has not been used locally for a commercial building such as a hotel until now.

“It’s very unusual to hear about this in California,” said Alan X. Reay, president of Atlas Hospitality Advisors, who was familiar with only one or two modular hotel projects in the state.

It is also a major milestone for the region’s hospitality development scene, marking the arrival of a new hotel player with a different kind of product: A full-service, strikingly designed hotel that’s all about social spaces, executives said.

The project, which is working its way through Sunnyvale’s approval process, comes nearly a decade after Millennium first proposed a hotel-and-condo development on the site it has long owned, located at 1250 Lakeside Drive, looking out onto a small man-made lake. The economy’s revival and a corporate focus on growth are bringing it back now. But the new concept is substantially different in look and feel than the old one, with architecture firm NBBJ coming up with an ultramodern design that’s unlike the standard stucco-box aesthetic that has dominated multifamily and hotel development in recent years. (Millennium is working with Wittek Development on the entitlement process, and I first wrote about the project’s revival back in August, when details were still scarce.)

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